I didn't tell you all ahead of time, but this past weekend I went down to San Jose for a wedding. I took Michael, but Marko stayed home with Daddy. I was very intimidated at the prospect of all that traveling, but Meredith has been a dear friend for years. Besides, we were able to pay for almost everything with miles and points, so the whole trip cost very little. Perks of having a husband who travels for work!
Random thoughts from my trip:
*I've traveled with kids of a number of different ages, and if I had to choose, the very last age child I would choose to fly with is twelve months. They are so busy. They don't nap a lot, and they want to spend all their time running. If you stop them from running, they cry. They are not interested in books or any kind of sitting-still activity other than maybe eating. Though Michael isn't a big eater. So no wonder I was nervous.
But, I hadn't accounted for the fact that twelve months is one of the cutest ages there is. So people will take things from a twelve-month-old that they wouldn't accept from a three-year-old. Things like him grabbing them, stealing their peanuts, untying their shoes, poking them, waking them up, and so forth. He spent all the plane trips running up and down the aisle. Luckily no one objected, so as long as the seat belt light was off, I just went with it. And everyone was absolutely charmed!
At our destination, it was even more pronounced. Everyone loved Michael. Soon, hopefully, I'll be sent hundreds of photos from dozens of cameras from all the people who followed Michael around taking pictures. I was right in thinking there was no need to bring a camera! People saved him crackers, bananas, anything they could think of. They offered to hold him, and he was surprisingly fine with that. (My arms thanked him; they were sore from the flight out. Lugging 30 lbs. around three airports is no joke. It's even less of a joke when the carrier you counted on is dripping wet from a leaky water bottle.)
Sure, he was a ton of trouble. He kept taking off in random directions, smashing candle holders, dumping the sand out of luminarias, crawling under pews and plane seats, and pushing emergency buttons. But no one minded. In the end I relaxed and just went with the flow.
*Everything went smoothly: flights, hotel rooms, rental car. When I flew United last year, they were extremely inconsiderate and unhelpful. This time I flew Delta and they were amazing -- always with a kind word, letting me preboard, helping with my carryon, and keeping bananas in the galley for Michael. They didn't fuss about my basically never sitting down. I checked in online as well, so there was very little time spent waiting for anything.
The rental car people were also very nice -- upgrading my car so there would be room for the carseat and not charging me for all the gas I forgot to top off. This was Enterprise; I'd definitely use them again. Though it does amaze me how much renting a car costs; it was my main expense.
*It definitely hit home to me this time that what we do in the airport is just security theater. Taking off shoes is pointless enough. But taking off shoes unless you're under 12 or over 75 is just nonsensical. The backscatter scanners are bad enough, but it turns out if you're traveling with kids you don't have to do it. I sailed through the metal detector with just a wrap on and no one patted me down either. They swabbed my hands for explosives, but I don't really see how that would catch any of what the backscatter is intended to do. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful not to be groped. But if they can just waive the security requirements whenever they want to be nice, doesn't that suggest that those requirements aren't that vital after all?
*The wedding was, hands down, the most picturesque event I've ever attended. It was at an old Spanish mission. The wedding itself was in the adobe chapel, and the reception was in the cloister rose garden. There were luminarias lining all the walkways and candles floating in the fountain. A boy in a mariachi costume played Mexican music on a harp (surprising, but sounded great). The food was amazing. Meredith's dress looked like what Arwen would wear if she were visiting Mount Olympus, if you can imagine that. When the sun went down over the desert hills and the stars came out, it felt like heaven on earth.
I often feel overwhelmed, overstimulated, and peopled-out at big parties like this. But this time I didn't, and I think the lovely and peaceful environment is why. We weren't packed in a noisy ballroom; we could meander among rose bushes with a cocktail and just chat with people. Much mellower. Poetic, beauty-loving, highly-sensitive INFP's like Meredith and I really do benefit by a well-prepared environment.
Not that it wasn't also noisy and fun. I danced to Gangnam Style. Somewhere there is a picture of me doing the horse dance with Michael completely passed out on my back. I soon got tired and just sat down and laid him on my lap -- where he slept for several hours. I finally left the party at almost midnight. I haven't stayed at any party that late since I was married.
*My favorite conversation topic at the wedding was "why Meredith is so awesome." That's the nice thing about a wedding. Whoever you meet has at least one thing in common with you -- they like the bride and groom. Meredith is a sweet, kind, and loyal person, but more than anything, she's something of a seer. She sees things other people don't see, and notices what other people don't notice. And because of that, she turns our eyes to those beautiful things. She can be a canary in a coal mine -- if Meredith isn't happy, look around. It's probably because of some subtle thing other people have missed, but which is unconsciously bothering them too.
I don't actually know her new husband well, but I quizzed his friends at the wedding and they all say he's a good guy and crazy about her. So I am not worried.
*The homily was amazing. Unfortunately I added so many of my own thoughts to it, I couldn't tell you which were the priest's ideas and which were mine! But I walked out of the church thinking, "If married love is an image of God's love, I need to love my husband more perfectly so he can see more clearly how God loves him." Two of my married friends were also there without their husbands, and all of us were feeling miffed when the priest suggested we say "I love you" to our spouses. We certainly were inspired, but then we had to wait whole days to do it!
That's all I can think of for now, but hopefully I will get my hands on some pictures and post them soon!